July 7, 2016, 7:11 pm
After being drafted by the Los Angeles Clippers 25th in the NBA Draft, Brice Johnson has gotten off to a promising start in the Summer league, with averages of 19.3 points, 2.3 boards in his first three games. He has showcased a polished skill set and has been one of the Summer’s most productive players, but does he have what it takes to contribute long term?
Johnson was considered a steal on draft day by many, one of the best players in college basketball years in his fourth season at North Carolina, and the Clippers are hoping to rely on him for consistent minutes as a rotational player.
His play thus far should make them confident, because he’s shown a few very reassuring traits early on.
Johnson’s ability to rebound and his ability to fill lanes in transition are probably his biggest strengths as a prospect, and those qualities have been present throughout his introduction to professional play. He’s been getting up and down the floor, fighting for lose balls and 50/50 rebounds and finishing in transition.
If it all translates to the NBA level, his athleticism and energy might keep the Clippers bench from experiencing the drop off it has in the past behind Blake Griffin.
Johnson’s mid range game has looked fantastic thus far, and looks like it will serve him well as a face-up/pick-and-pop power forward. He has the quickness and basketball IQ to find his spots, and so far he’s been knocking down the shots with great efficiency. It wouldn’t be surprising to see him extend his range beyond the three point line given his confidence in catch and shoot situations. His overall trajectory from a raw 18-year old shooting 56 percent from the line to 78 percent four years later is impressive.
It will be interesting to see how Doc Rivers manages minutes at the power forward and center behind Blake Griffin and Deandre Jordan. The Clippers like to play fast, so it’s not crazy to assume that Brice Johnson will be called upon for 20-25 minutes per game right out of the gate at both PF and C. He’s got a lot to prove, but he’s also got a lot going for him. His style of play should fit perfectly into the Clippers’ transition-heavy game plan.
At the college level, Johnson showed a versatile offensive arsenal that allowed him to score virtually at will from 10 feet and in. With a powerful frame, great ups and a soft touch he should be able to hit the ground running, but sometimes prospects just aren’t able to adjust to the speed and physicality of the pro game. Look for him to continue display his combination of offense, rebounding and athleticism in Summer League en route to earning a spot in the Clippers rotation. The question is whether or not he will be able to score consistently on NBA defenders. The answer to that question will determine whether or not he is a productive role player for this team, or if the Clippers will be forced to look elsewhere for a backup big man.
July 17, 2019, 4:12 pmReggie BullockSG-SF, New York Knicks
Newly signed wing Reggie Bullock (back) underwent successful surgery for a cervical disc herniation on Wednesday.
Bullock signed a two-year contract with the Knicks a day before undergoing a special surgery in New York. The Knicks will update the media regarding Bullock's timetable around the start of training camp. With the rotation unknown and the lack of knowledge regarding his timetable, Bullock is best left undrafted in standard leagues.
Source: Knicks PR on Twitter
July 17, 2019, 3:55 pmTyler LydonPF, Sacramento Kings
Tyler Lydon has officially signed with the Kings.
Lydon was a 2017 first-round pick of the Nuggets but failed to show value in his time in Denver. The Kings will take a chance on Lydon who has only played 96 minutes in his first two seasons. For now, he can be ignored from a fantasy perspective.
Source: Sean Cunningham on Twitter
July 17, 2019, 3:25 pmJulian WashburnSF, Golden State Warriors
The Warriors have waived Julian Washburn.
Washburn was acquired in the Andre Iguodala trade. Last season he appeared in 18 games with the Grizzlies, making three starts, while averaging 2.2 points, 2.3 rebounds and 0.7 steals in 14.1 minutes per night. Expect him to land in some team's training camp.
Source: Warriors PR on Twitter
July 17, 2019, 3:08 pmTacko FallC, Boston Celtics
Danny Ainge said that Tacko Fall's development is a "high priority" for the Celtics.
Fall is on an Exhibit 10 contract and figures to spend his time in the G-League this season. With an 8'2" wingspan and 10'3" standing reach, it's not hard to see why Boston is going to try and coax everything they can out of Fall's game. There's definitely some serious upside as a shot-blocker if he ever cracks the NBA, but until that happens he's not on the fantasy radar.
Source: Chris Forsberg on Twitter
July 17, 2019, 2:50 pmJared HarperPG, Phoenix Suns
Jared Harper has agreed to a two-way contract with the Suns, per The Athletic's Gina Mizell.
Harper was a standout with Auburn last season and averaged 10.5 points, 2.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists in four Summer League tilts with Phoenix. There's minimal fantasy impact here as the Suns already have four point guards on the roster.
Source: Gina Mizell on Twitter
July 17, 2019, 2:06 pmDevin RobinsonSF, Toronto Raptors
The Raptors have signed Devin Robinson to an Exhibit 10 contract.
The Raptors are filling out their training camp group, and Robinson will be among a number of players fighting it out for the final spot on the roster. The Florida product has only appeared in eight NBA games in his first two seasons, and the Wizards chose not to extend him a qualifying offer for this season after he was arrested over a fight with pro football player Jalen Mills. Robinson played with the Blazers in Summer League, putting up 9.6 points and 5.0 rebounds in five games. The owner of some historic combine numbers, Robinson is yet another interesting, raw product for Toronto's development staff to work with.
Source: Blake Murphy on Twitter
July 17, 2019, 2:02 pmEnes KanterC, Boston Celtics
The Celtics have officially inked Enes Kanter to a contract.
Danny Ainge referred to Kanter as part of the team's Plan A this summer, and the Celtics picked him up on an affordable two-year deal worth $10 million. The second year is a player option so we should see a very motivated Kanter this season. He's going to start at center for the Celtics, and while his defensive deficiencies may limit his minutes, we're expecting 25 mpg or more. That's more than enough for the big man to deliver middle-round value.
Source: Boston Celtics
July 17, 2019, 1:59 pmCameron PaynePG, Toronto Raptors
The Raptors and Cameron Payne have agreed to a two-year deal, per Shams Charania of The Athletic.
There are partial guarantees on the first season, and Payne will be looking to carve out work as the third-string point guard. This now puts the Raptors at 16 guaranteed contracts with Chris Boucher and Malcolm Miller set to join the group in the near future. Payne averaged 20.0 points, 5.0 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 2.7 steals in three Summer League games with the Mavs.
Source: Shams Charania on Twitter
July 17, 2019, 1:55 pmAustin RiversPG, Houston Rockets
The Rockets have re-signed Austin Rivers and Danuel House.
Houston looked to be running it back with the same group but instead has simply swapped one star guard for another, which means that Rivers and House still figure to play important roles off the bench. There's standard-league potential in the case of injury, but neither should be expected to exceed top-200 value. Rivers probably has more upside should he come into a starting role while House's ability to chip in a wider variety of stats might make him the more appealing deep-league play over the long run.
Source: Houston Rockets
July 17, 2019, 11:51 amDragan BenderPF, Phoenix Suns
Nikos Varlas of Eurohoops is reporting that Dragan Bender has a verbal commitment to join EuroLeague champions CSKA Moscow on a multiyear deal.
The report adds that the former No. 4 pick will take the offer unless there is an intriguing offer to him from an NBA team in the 11th hour. Bender was linked to the Cavs and the Raptors but he hasn’t been able to generate much interest in the market and the move to Europe might be the optimal choice for him now.